IFA GPC 2017 PREVIEW: Sennheiser Ambeo smart headset

IFA GPC 2017, Lisbon: earphones with a binaural microphone that add 360-degree audio to your travel videos

AMBEO SMART HEADSET_1Lisbon, Portugal: Do you want to capture the world in 3D audio? Sennheiser’s Ambeo smart headset adds some genuinely impressive binaural sound effects to videos.

Reality check

It’s a reality check – literally. TravGear got its hands on a pre-production version (it goes on sale in Summer) to perform a full review around the streets of Lisbon, Portugal. The effect was immediately obvious; video a tram going across the screen and the audio goes with it.

Moving experience

What the Sennheiser Ambeo smart headset do is put the viewer inside the soundscape; it plays back the direction of sounds and the natural spatial characteristics of a location. The product has two omni-directional microphones integrated in the ear pieces themselves, which work alongside a premium A/D converter, mic preamp and SoftLimit from Apogee.

Extra clarity

Although binaural recordings are made all the time for movie soundtracks and music recordings, specific, high-end equipment must be used. This is the first time it’s been available on a consumer product. However interesting the binaural aspect of these earphones is, as good a reason to buy the Sennheiser Ambeo smart headset is for the ultra-clear sound effects that are vastly improved over the iPhone 7’s built-in mics.

Android version incoming

However, we’re not totally convinced about the earphones’ styling; bright, white, sporty-style earphones for iPhone users only is a bit restrictive. Sennheiser tells us there’s an Android version in the works, which we expect to land sometime around the IFA 2017 exhibition in Berlin this September.

Price & launch date

The Sennheiser Ambeo smart headset are expected to sell in Summer for around the same as Sennheiser’s Momentum headphones, so somewhere in the region of £250-£300.

IFA 2017 will take place in Berlin from 1-6 September, 2017